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Book Review: Monarch’s Mission

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“As a squad leader who frequently rides a ferocious war dragon into battle for the nation of Laria, Yala is used to narrowly escaping death. Her sole objective in war is get her team back home in one piece, and she’s never had cause to pay attention to the gods or the Disciples who wield their power.

Until, that is, her monarch sends her team on a covert mission to seize control of a mysterious island. At first glance, the island contains nothing but the ruins of a long-abandoned temple, but a closer look yields a shocking discovery. The temple belonged to adherents of the god of death, Mekan, the one deity whose power is forbidden in Laria.

Trapped and surrounded by the forces of the dead, Yala soon finds herself fighting for her life amid the ruins. Even if she pulls off a miracle and gets her team out alive, nobody walks away unscathed from the god of death…”

Title: Monarch’s Mission

Series: Death’s Disciple #0.5

Author: Emma L. Adams

Page Count: 62

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4.0/5.0

Date Read: January 15th, 2023

Another book on my SPFBO-9 personal TBR is Death’s Disciple by Emma L. Adams. I caught wind from her newsletter several months ago that there was a novella that seems to take place prior to book one. So as I wanted to dive into Death’s Disciple here in January, I figured I’d go ahead and knock out Monarch’s Mission first. As I posted this to Twitter I found out from another bookish friend she would be interested how this goes as she read book one first and liked how the mystery around this mission was until she read it. Emma also sounded off letting us know she actually wrote the novella first and in a way that readers should be able to read each of them in either order.
I’m happy to say as I write this review I’m finished with Monarch’s Mission and am already 20% into Death’s Disciple and I like how this path flowed for me. I could easily see the benefit of reading in the opposite order as well though, so pick your poison fellow readers!
The pacing was done well with Monarch’s. This is under 100 pages, yet still plenty of time to set things up and give us a nice conclusion to this part of the story as well. There is plenty of action to keep us entertained. No issues with names and no noticeable editing issues to trip me up either.
The world building was also done well and as I said the order of reading seems to be working very well for me. This was a really good introduction into the author’s world. We had good geographical, cultural and magical mixes introduced here. By the time I finished up, I was anxious to get into the meat of the story with book one. I mostly wanted to see what all trouble Yala may have brought back with her.
The character develop was also nicely done. Granted this was a short read but the author did a very nice job helping us to get to know Yala and her fellow soldiers as well as some of the nation leaders. In the short number of pages, I easily found myself growing some attachment to some characters, sadness at the loss of one and curiosity towards several others.
As far as recommendations go, I will simply reiterate the reading order shouldn’t make too much of a difference between this and Death’s Disciple. If you want the mission in this to be more of a mystery as you read book one hold off on this one and let it expand the depth of the world a bit more. If like me, you are looking for a good introduction to the story, world and Emma’s work, feel free to read Monarch’s Mission first. I certainly have no regrets in taking this path.

World Building 4/5
Pacing 4/5
Character Development 4/5

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Chad Barnard

Owner/Operator of The Hiking Reader Blog. Sharing thoughts on books and hiking trails and trying to find ways to continue to incorporate both hobbies together.

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